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5 Secrets to Getting Up for Class

December 27th, 2010 admin

At the beginning of the school year I posted a poll that let you share your top dreads about the back-to-class months. Coming in at #2 (trailing only 1% behind HOMEWORK itself) was having to get up for class.

I’m with you–it’s the worst! There is something really hard about rolling out of bed with only the prospect of class to look forward to. I hope these tips will help you get through the early-morning drag.

1. Schedule Classes Later. First things first: do NOT schedule a class for a time when you don’t think you can be up, ready, and out the door. After choosing an early morning class my first quarter at UCSD (one during which I almost always fell asleep), I quickly learned that I couldn’t make it to class coherent and ready to learn before 9am. So when you’re choosing next semester’s classes, pay attention to the times!

2. Bring a Friend. Scheduling a class with a friend means you are twice as likely to show up, because (hopefully) both your alarms will go off. Chances are one of you will make it out of bed! Getting a call from a friend (or stopping by to pick them up on the way to class) will give you both a second chance in case you hit snooze one too many times (and someone to watch your back so you don’t sleep through a test). Not to mention seeing a buddy is a little extra motivation to get to class.

3. Work With Your Roommate. Got a roommate whose bright-and-early prep practices drive you nuts when you’re trying to sleep in? Use it to your advantage! Consider timing your morning classes around your roomie’s, and get up and ready around the same time (just plan ahead so you don’t fight over the shower).

4. Get More Sleep. I know its hard to make yourself go to bed–especially when people seem to be awake and doing something interesting at all hours of the night in college–but going to bed a little earlier will (obviously) help your body get the rest it needs to recharge you for the morning. (Harvard Med shares some tips to help you improve your sleep.)

5. Set Your (Internal) Clock. Our bodies naturally tend toward self-scheduling; they get tired, hungry, etc. at about the same time everyday. In my experience, you can “teach” your body when to be alert and when to be sleepy–but it will take consistency and practice. If you want to learn to get up earlier, you’ll have to force yourself to do it as often as humanly possible–that’s the only way to train your body to wake up for 8am class instead of sleeping until noon. (Learn more about your internal clock here.)

And while we’re talking about sleep, why not check out these tips to help you stay awake during class (without resorting to a caffeine regiment).

Photo by Georgios Wollbrecht

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10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Steph  |  December 27th, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    I definitely couldn’t schedule early classes, or I would either (1) not get up or (2) sleep in class. After my first year and trying to deal with 8 a.m. classes, I made sure all my classes were at 9:30 a.m. or later LOL.

  • 2. alaina  |  December 28th, 2010 at 11:48 am

    These are great tips! I never thought of trying to coordinate with my roomies. It’s so obviously, but so often overlooked.

    And getting more sleep is my New Year’s resolution. I mean, you can schedule classes at 4 in the afternoon, but if you go to sleep at 6 in the morning…. it’s kind of useless 😉

    xox alaina

  • 3. TheCollegeHelper  |  December 29th, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Great article! Attending class is necessary to do well in college. I think you offer some great tips to keep students motivated and on task. I specifically like your suggestion of scheduling class with a friend. This definitely helped me when I was in college. Thanks for sharing.

  • 4. Shantanu Bala  |  December 29th, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    One simple trick has really helped me: I put my light on a timer. The light tricks your body into naturally waking up, and you don’t feel drowsy afterward.

  • 5. Sam  |  January 6th, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    These are great tips, thank you! However, as much as I hate morning classes, I despise evening classes more. Last semester I had a class that ended at five and it was almost always the only course I needed coffee in! So I can only imagine what an evening course would do to me. I have however been using tips 4 & 5 for a while and it truly helps!

  • 6. t  |  January 28th, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    where did you go? i love this blog and its been a MONTH! lol help us survive!

  • 7. Elin  |  March 23rd, 2011 at 2:33 am

    Honestly, going to sleep at night requires discipline. Waking up in the morning does not or let’s say 50/50. 😉 Set a nightly ritual, like drinking chamomile tea, it can do wonders!

  • 8. Claudia  |  March 24th, 2011 at 8:53 am

    Great Tips! I used the one on having a friend in the same classes to wake you up and it worked! My friend is better at waking up then i am so she’ll annoy the crap out of me until I wake up and we can go to class. Annoying but helpful 🙂

  • 9. Audrey Edgerton  |  March 28th, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    One trick I have used is working before classes. I’m able to force myself to get up and go to work, because if I don’t show up I’ll get fired. Then, I go to class after work. My attendance greatly improved once I started using this system. It helped having business classes available later in the evening.

  • 10. Eric  |  March 29th, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    I love this! All excellent ideas. I had a 8am class at one point (which was the worst) and never scheduled anything before 10am after that… One other thing that might get you up is to put your alarm clock out of reach. Then you’re forced to get out of bed!

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